Vampires Rule (Rules #1) by K.C. Blake

Goodreads Summary:

Jack has always beat the odds... until now. When a werewolf tried to kill him, vampires saved him. When he got tired of life as a vampire, another attack gave him back his mortality. Now Jack just wants to live a normal life, but what's normal about having a hunter for a girlfriend, a brother who wants to stake him to be on the safe side, and a werewolf building an army to rule the world?

My Review:

I was a little surprised to find that this book is Young Adult but that’s only because I didn’t read the description before reading the book**. It being YA is not a bad thing; it just caught me off guard.

This was not an ‘edge of your seat’ type of book for me but it did keep a steady pace and had some interesting and unique (at least unique for me) twists.

I liked that both of the main characters were able to defend themselves and didn’t constantly have to depend on others. They have their vulnerable moments but overall they were strong and determined.

Wraiths were new to me and although they didn’t play a huge part in the book, it was easy to visualize them as ghostly, wispy beings with mouths full of sharp pointy teeth. In my mind I pictured something like the cover of 99 Coffins by David Wellington. Creepy...I like it!

Another interesting idea is to be ‘transported’ into someone’s memory by touching that person or an object. Although I don’t think this is a completely new concept I think it is well done in Vampires Rule.

I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the Rules Series (Werewolves Rule) when it’s released.

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**I think reading the summary of a book can be bitter sweet. On one hand you get the gist of the book and are not surprised by things like the genre. But on the other hand the summaries sometimes give away too much and you essentially know the outcome.

Swag Winner

Better make that Swag Winners!

The big winner is (according to Meredith! Congrats Meredith!

I will also be sending a piece or two of swag to everyone who entered!
Don't you love when everyone's a winner!?

I will be emailing everyone this morning!

The Votes Are In

Thank you to those of you who voted!

Right now my shelves are VERY loosely organized by genre but I’m ready for a change.
Organizing by Author seems to be the front runner so it looks like I will be
redoing my shelves soon :)

Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning (Fever #1)

Goodreads Summary:

MacKayla Lane’s life is good. She has great friends, a decent job, and a car that breaks down only every other week or so. In other words, she’s your perfectly ordinary twenty-first-century woman.

Or so she thinks…until something extraordinary happens.

When her sister is murdered, leaving a single clue to her death–a cryptic message on Mac’s cell phone–Mac journeys to Ireland in search of answers. The quest to find her sister’s killer draws her into a shadowy realm where nothing is as it seems, where good and evil wear the same treacherously seductive mask. She is soon faced with an even greater challenge: staying alive long enough to learn how to handle a power she had no idea she possessed–a gift that allows her to see beyond the world of man, into the dangerous realm of the Fae….

As Mac delves deeper into the mystery of her sister’s death, her every move is shadowed by the dark, mysterious Jericho, a man with no past and only mockery for a future. As she begins to close in on the truth, the ruthless Vlane–an alpha Fae who makes sex an addiction for human women–closes in on her. And as the boundary between worlds begins to crumble, Mac’s true mission becomes clear: find the elusive Sinsar Dubh before someone else claims the all-powerful Dark Book–because whoever gets to it first holds nothing less than complete control of the very fabric of both worlds in their hands...

My Review:

I had a rough time starting this book. The first few pages were full of new terminology that bogged me down and almost made me want to put the book down and not read it. And I may have done just that if it hadn't been highly recommended by friends.

Once past what I will call a lumpy beginning the story really smoothed out and began to flow. I ended up reading Darkfever in about half a day.

This is the first fae book that I have read so almost everything was unique and stood apart against other books I've read. I say almost because I was a little torn on the two main characters as I felt I had seen their 'types' before. I don't think I can go into more detail without revealing bits of the story but I can say that both end up developing throughout the book and I'm hoping they continue to develop in the following books.

I'm not in love with this book as much as my friends are (sorry guys) but I did enjoy it and I will be adding the rest of the series to my to-read list.

Ready to Have a Swagrific Time? (Giveaway)

This is a bit of a follow up to last week's gigantic post on signed books. In addition to collecting signed books I am developing a love for swag, signed and unsigned. I recently had the idea of having swagboards in my loffice (a small bedroom that I converted to a library/office). I found the below boards at Kohl's at a great price and went to town after hanging them.


If you took notice, yes they are uneven and there's a short story as to why. Here goes...hubby was helping me hang them the other night and and he was 'eye balling' it while I held them against the wall and then he marked the spots. I specifically asked him 'Are you sure they're level' since I'm normally the one that's better at centering, etc. He assured me they look good. The nails went in and we both stepped back and said 'Yeah, they're uneven'....sigh. I want to fix them, but it just hasn't happened yet.

 Are you still with me?? We're about to get to the exciting part.

I'm going to part with some of my swag. I have some duplicates and I may even pull a piece or two off of my swagboards. So are you interested in entering to win some swagrific goodness!! I'm giving away a mystery swag pack and there might be a signed piece or two included...

To enter all you have to do is comment and let me know if you collect swag and/or signed books and which piece is your favorite so far...don't forget to list your email in the comment.

  • Following is not required
  • This giveaway is open internationally as long as I don't have to jump through too many hoops to get it to you ;)
  • You have until  Wednesday, June 15th at 12am (EST) to enter
  • The winner will be chosen via, on June 16th, and will have 48 hours to respond once chosen.

Random Crumb

This tidbit from a fortune cookie I had with my chinese dinner the other day.

'Simplicity of character is the natural result of profound thought.'

Before Ever After by Samantha Sotto

Goodreads Summary:

Three years after her husband Max's death, Shelley feels no more adjusted to being a widow than she did that first terrible day. That is, until the doorbell rings. Standing on her front step is a young man who looks so much like Max–same smile, same eyes, same age, same adorable bump in his nose–he could be Max's long-lost relation. He introduces himself as Paolo, an Italian editor of American coffee table books, and shows Shelley some childhood photos. Paolo tells her that the man in the photos, the bearded man who Paolo says is his grandfather though he never seems to age, is Max. Her Max. And he is alive and well.

As outrageous as Paolo's claims seem–how could her husband be alive? And if he is, why hasn't he looked her up? – Shelley desperately wants to know the truth. She and Paolo jet across the globe to track Max down–if it is really Max– and along the way, Shelley recounts the European package tour where they had met. As she relives Max's stories of bloody Parisian barricades, medieval Austrian kitchens, and buried Roman boathouses, Shelley begins to piece together the story of who her husband was and what these new revelations mean for her "happily ever after." And as she and Paolo get closer to the truth, Shelley discovers that not all stories end where they are supposed to.

My Review:

I really had to sit and think about what I wanted to write before starting my post. Even after reflecting, I'm still not 100% sure what to say. I took my time reading this book, partially because I felt as though I had to in order to fully capture the emotions of the story and partially because at times I struggled, just a little, to keep up with all of the people in the stories of the past.

Before Ever After is a story journey of love and heartbreak. You grow to know and understand the characters and Samantha Sotto writes in such a way to make the reader feel the joy, fear, love, and earth shattering heartbreak right along with them. Along with powerfully written scenes, Samantha has a knack for the philosophical. She makes you think about how you look at life and the moments in it.

I laughed, teared up, and had to pick my jaw off the floor. If you're looking for an emotional, intriguing, and thought provoking read this is the book for you.

**I won this ARC in a giveaway on but that did not affect my review in any way

Do You Collect?

*Just a quick warning, this will be a looong post*

I love to collect books (ebooks and paper books...I'm an equal opportunity booker) and I also collect signed books &/or swag! Finding signed books is like a treasure hunt, always searching for the next pot of gold! This post will be me showing you my loot as well as telling you how I found them so stick around for some tips and some great bookstore links!

My very first signed book was Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder. She was having her first book signing where I was working at the time (the store has since closed, sad face); she was really nice and the book sounded interesting so I bought one. I LOVED it and have been following her ever since. So the first way to get signed books is to go to signings.

Photobucket Photobucket

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I also acquired Shade and Shift by Jeri Smith-Ready by going to a signing at Cupboard Maker Books. I don't think they sell signed books online, but it's worth a shot to keep an eye out for events then call and ask if they will sell you one over the phone.


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Next up is Barnes and Nobles. I linked their name to a great page where you can search events by author or location. That's how I found the below books; I simply called the stores having the events (TX, GA and PA if I remember correctly) and asked if they would send me a signed copy. I don't know if all stores will be so accommodating but what's the worst that can happen? If they say no just try another store. If you're not comfortable giving your credit card information over the phone, I would suggest buying a B&N giftcard. I paid for two of the three books with gift cards.


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You can also check Barnes & Nobles main website and just click on the signed books link. That's how I found Nora Robert's Bride Quartet with a signed note card.


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Speaking of Nora Roberts, she has her own book store called Turn The Page Bookstore. You can order personalized Nora Roberts/J.D. Robb books. There's also a big book signing event there on July 9th and I haven't decided if I want to make the 3.5 hour round trip to go and stand in lines in July (uck, I hate hot weather) or if I want to be lazy and order the signed books online..hhmmm. I think it makes sense to save the gas, but again, I'm undecided.

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The Fountain Bookstore is another bookstore where you can order signed books online. This is where I bought the below books. I haven't checked it out for myself, but the rumor is you can also preorder signed copies of Forever by Maggie Stiefvater.


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Another great way to find signed books (and help a good cause) is to find book auction sites. I won the below bids on the Indie Author's Relief Fund; the proceeds went to Japan's tsunami/earthquake relief. Those bids are closed but they may open the site again for other causes in the future.


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All 4 Alabama is another auction site. This site has active auctions going on right now and the proceeds go to Alabama to help rebuild after the recent deadly tornados.

I have been the winning bid on a few signed books which are in the mail. I won bids on Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard , No Humans Involved and Personal Demon by Kelley Armstrong, The Shifter by Janice Hardy, and IDRAKULA by Bekka Black.

There's also an active bid where Beth Revis is giving signed swag to everyone who bids and the winner gets queries and a signed copy of Across The Universe. I bid so I will get the signed swag but now the bid is too rich for my blood so I will not get the signed book.

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Eagle Harbor Book Co. also sells signed books on their website. I'm not sure if they do it with all of the authors but I bought the below Suzanne Selfors and Susan Wiggs books and the bookstore had them personalized by Suzanne and Susan. Your order takes a little longer, but it's worth the wait.


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Another way to get signed books is to trade with another blogger. The Mod Podge Bookshelf blog has a Trading Post where she lists the books she's willing to trade, which is how I got my hands on the below book by Stephen Lovely.

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The next way to get signed books is to win them. I won the below Ann Mauren book on The Secret Writer blog and signed Compulsion swag from Heidi Ayarbe and The Elliott Review blog. *Note, I bought the Compulsion book myself.


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The Red Balloon Bookshop is a recent find. I ordered the two books over the phone and they should be in the mail. Those books are Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins and Nightshade by Andrea Cremer.

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A Book For All Seasons is another somewhat recent find. They seem to have events on a regular basis. I ordered two signed Chelsea Cain books (The Night Season and Evil at Heart) and two Gregg Olsen books (Closer Than Blood and A Twisted Fate).

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Another place to get signed (and personalized) Chelsea Cain books is St. Helens Book Shop. I wish I would have known that before I ordered the unpersonalized ones from A Book For All Seasons but you live you learn. This book shop has signed/personalized books by other authors too.

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Some additional ways to find bookstores/signed books:

  • Author's will sometimes tell you on their website where you can get their signed books. They may also have a webstore where you can order books or other merchandise. For example, I found St. Helens Book Shop (mention & linked above) on Chelsea Cain's website.
  • Some authors will sign books if you send them to the author with a self addressed, prepaid envelope. Definitely do not blindly mail books to authors; I would recommend checking on their website to see if they will sign/return books. Better yet, email them to make sure it's don't want to lose your books!
  • BLOGS! I have found a lot of great links just by reading blogs. For example, Actin' Up With Books has an awesome feautre called Love My Indie. I found some of the above bookstores by reading this blog!
  • I have not tried this method yet but who's to say you can't just email an author and ask how you can find signed books?
  • If you're a member of Goodreads, you can enter giveaways. Some of those giveaways are for signed books.
  • With all of the BEA buzz going around I should mention that attending would be a great place to get signed books. I saw one blogger had about ten signed books.
I didn't know where to look when I decided to officially start collecting signed books, so I hope I gave you a few helpful ideas if you are just beginning.

Happy Hunting :)

**Please don't mind the semi-grainy cell phone pictures. And please forgive any spelling errors as this is a super long post and I may have missed one or two.

Blog Award!

How the Award works:

  • Thank and link to the person who nominated you.
  • Share seven random facts about yourself.
  • Pass the award along to 15 deserving blog buddies.
  • Contact those buddies to congratulate them.

A BIG THANK YOU goes out to Cassie at Bailey’s Dark Fantasy reviews! You’re just the awesomest kind of awesome! J

This is my first Blogger Award and I will display it proudly!!

Now for the seven facts about myself. I will try to come up with things other than the obvious obsession with books :)

1. I can be a bit of a tame dare devil. As I get older I like trying semicrazy things. I went skydiving last year and have been white water rafting in Class IV and V rapids. I sat on the front of the raft while going through one of those Class IV's. I think one these years I may try the polar bear plunge...we'll see if I can talk anyone into doing it with me.

2. I had braces as an adult and hated it! I've had them off for two years but will have to wear retainers overnight for, well forever, according to my orthodontist. I also still have wires glued to the backs of my front 4 teeth on the top and bottom. They will be there for years and years until they fall off.

3. I love office supplies. I don't know why but I just love getting new pens, post-its, or anything really. I haven't been as bad this year because all of my play money has been going to books!

4. I watch way too much TV. That one is self explanatory.

5. I love music. I listen to mostly rock, but I also like some country, jazz, rap, classical, r&b, and pop.

6. I have tattoos (don't judge). I have not gotten a new one for almost ten years but I'm thinking it's almost time for another.

and last but not least...

7. I really, really wish I could draw and/or paint but I just cannot do it. I am artsy so maybe if I took a class I would be able to make an attempt but otherwise it's a big flop!

Without further adieu, I would like to pass this great award on to the following bloggers (in no certain order):

Now I'm off to make stops on 15 blogs to see if they will accept the passing of the torch.

Thanks again to Cassie for giving me this shiny new award :)

This Month on RAK

I participated in Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) again in May. What's RAK you say? Well, RAK is Book Soulmates brain child. The idea of RAK is to pay it forward by randomly sending people books/ebooks from their wishlists.

Go to Book Soulmates Blog for more information or to sign up.

I didn't receive any RAK's but I really enjoyed send out three books and I'm looking forward to sending more in June :)

Splash Into Summer WINNER

And the winner is...

Krystal L.

A Big Congrats to Krystal!!